That Netflix It releases many films that seem designed to fill out its catalog more than for anything else. I think very few doubt it at this point. That does not mean that the platform also continues to launch very stimulating works, although later some of them end going so unnoticed that many do not even know of its premiere. I am afraid that this is exactly what is happening in the case of ‘Noise’.
Seen for the first time at the last San Sebastian Festival, where it received the Spanish Cooperation Award, ‘Ruido’ is the third solo feature film directed by the Mexican Natalia Beristain, who had been focused on her television career for a few years -she has directed episodes for series such as ‘El Presidente’ or ‘The Mosquito Coast’-. For her return to the big screen, she has opted to address such a thorny issue in Mexico as that of missing persons to tell the story of a mother who does not give up trying to locate her daughter.
a horrible reality
‘Noise’ is a movie hard out of sheer necessity, but it is without falling into easy drama or the temptation to wallow in the pain of others. Instead, Beristáin takes a sober approach that at times feels more like a documentary than anything else. Of course, he does it also avoiding subtlety -the closest thing to it is in the heartfelt final sequence- to fully immerse himself in what starts out as heartbreaking and ends up being more terrifying than most horror movies.
Beristáin’s main ally in ‘Ruido’ is Juliet Egurrola, the veteran interpreter who gives life to Julia, a tireless woman in search of her daughter, no matter what comes her way. This allows the film to portray the bleak routine in which the lives of those who do not give up before what is almost always a doomed mission have become.
There it is true that perhaps the film goes a bit too far with the scene that highlights how Julia’s pain has made you neglect the rest of your loved ones. It is something that one already assumes when seeing that no one else from her family accompanies her, but it is also fair to point out that it serves to emphasize that the normality that the protagonist of ‘Ruido’ has assumed is not something healthy.
However, ‘Noise’ engages more in that endless search and the different horrors that cross his path. There remains the question of to what extent finding the body of her son would not be a twisted and essential relief to move on or if it would simply be the final stage that completely breaks a woman who only has that determination left as a reason to continue living.
The complaint above the rest
Parallel to that, Beristáin also pay attention to everything that accompanies this particular situation that affects many Mexicansfrom support groups among those who are going through the same thing to that small group of volunteers who do everything that justice allows them to give answers to these people.
The point is that the filmmaker is not interested in that as much as in a small glimmer of hope in a country corrupted to the core, as it ends up being another way to report a terrible situation. There he does not walk with contemplations and makes it clear what can happen when you become a nuisance and also that perhaps the answers you are looking for will not be of much use to you.
For this reason, ‘Ruido’ is always a direct film that uses the most intimate moments, as there are, as a basis to show something bigger. All this without great frills in relation to the work of stagingopting more for a naturalness halfway between the sad and the shocking.
The final stretch is a little more effective, but it is still the way to influence even more clearly both the indignation that this situation arouses and the inability for that to change. That frustration had to explode in some way beyond individual searches and I can’t think of another way to illustrate it in images that better expresses the message that Beristáin wants to convey to the viewer. Because yes, of course ‘Noise’ is positioned, the opposite would not make sense either.
‘Noise’ is a wonderful film that hits the nail on the head and addresses an uncomfortable reality that has become practically an epidemic for Mexican society. In addition, it is not satisfied with that debatable label of necessary cinema can be applied to it and shines by showing a drama that becomes chilling at times and has great work by Egurrola.